All statistical information is pending the outcome of Sunday’s action unless noted otherwise.
MLB BASEBALL BETTING REPORT FOR APRIL 22, 2019
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS AT PITTSBURGH PIRATES
Pittsburgh has the best team ERA in baseball (2.52) while Arizona has one of the worst (4.90). The Diamondbacks’ mitigating factor is that they hit the ball well (.271 team batting average #3 in MLB). Zack Godley hasn’t pitched as poorly as his ERA suggests. He’s coming off of a decent start against Atlanta at home (6 IP 2 ER 5 H) where the Diamondbacks won but he didn’t factor into the decision. He does have 17 strikeouts in his last 3 starts (17 2/3 innings pitched). He was bombed by San Diego in his previous start (6 innings pitched 6 hits 6 ER 2 HR) but had a strong outing against Boston before that. Joe Musgrove has been excellent his season. In his three starts he’s gone 20 1/3 innings allowing 13 hits, 2 earned runs and striking out 20 while walking just 4. At home in his only start he pitched 7 innings of 3 hit 8 strikeout shutout ball against the Cincinnati Reds on April 5. Arizona lost a ton of money against right handed starters last season (-9.55 units) and early returns suggest it could be more of the same this year (-0.4 units). Pittsburgh earned +11.45 units last year against RHP and is off to a good start this season. Pitching disparity is huge and this looks like a reasonable price for the better team and better starting pitcher on their home field.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES AT NEW YORK METS
The Phillies and Mets are separated by one game in the National League East standings but while Philadelphia looks legit the jury is still out on New York. Philadelphia has a +12 run differential through 21 games while the Mets are -19 through 21 games. At any rate, New York will definitely have their hands full today facing Philadelphia righthander Jake Arrieta who has looked pretty sharp so far this season. Arrieta is 3-1 going an average of 7 innings a start with a 2.25 ERA and 1.107 WHIP. He looked dominant in his only road start this season pitching a 7 inning 5 hit 1 run gem at Miami. It’s hard to figure out Mets lefty Steven Matz who has been up and down this year. His last three starts have included two solid outings against Washington and Atlanta but on April 16 at Philadelphia he didn’t make it out of the first inning giving up 2 HR and 6 ER. Arietta has a 2.64 lifetime ERA against the Mets and it’s doubtful that the Phillies have forgotten how to hit Matz in the span of a week. At any rate, impossible to pass up one of the best right handers in the business at this price.
DETROIT TIGERS AT BOSTON RED SOX
The Red Sox are 9-13 on the year with a -38 run differential. Left hander Chris Sale is on the mound for Boston and following his previous start gave this less than inspiring assessment of his current form:
“This is flat-out embarrassing. For my family, for our team, for our fans. This is about as bad as it gets. It sucks. I’m not going to sugarcoat it. I just flat-out stink right now. I don’t know what it is.”
Here’s the punch line–the Red Sox and Sale are -220 favorites. You might be thinking that even with their poor pitching you can always count on the Red Sox bats, right? They’re hitting .233 on the season though they’re still better than Detroit (.215).
The Red Sox signed Sale to a 5 year $145 million extension in late March. Sale is an excellent pitcher and at age 30 still has plenty of ‘rubber on the tires’. Boston fans should be reasonably confident that he’ll get things turned around. That being said, he said a few things in the previously quoted blurb that concern us that show not only a lack of confidence in his current form (a terrible thing for a pitcher to have or more specifically ‘not have’) and since he doesn’t really know what’s wrong right now it’s tough to fix it. There were some positives in his last start–his fastball velocity was back up in the mid to high 90’s but his control suffered. At any rate, he’s not exactly in the form that makes us want to lay -220 against anyone.
His opponent in his game–Matt Boyd–has been solid this year. In four starts he’s averaging 6 1/3 innings per and on the season has allowed 20 hits, 8 earned runs and has rung up 36 k’s. He’s got a 2.96 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP overall with a decent 3.18 ERA/1.236 WHIP on the road. He’s been been even better in his last three starts with a 2.33 ERA, a 1.086 WHIP and 26 k’s in 19 1/3 innings of work. The Tigers have only faced one LHP this year but last season scratched out a small (+3.9 unit) profit against southpaws. Red Sox are 2-5 -4.6 units against LHP this year. Neither team is hitting well at the moment but until Sale breaks out of his slump the Tigers’ starter and their bullpen appear to be in better shape.